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5 Reasons Why Messaging Should Be Part of Your Social Media Strategy

The social messaging phenomenon has completely transformed the way people interact with brands—and it’s only accelerating.

Lise Eerdekens May 20, 2021
illustration of people on screens passing a heart from one to the other

Social messaging has surged in popularity in recent years. Since as far back as 2016, the number of people using the top social messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat/Weixin has consistently surpassed people using the top social networks (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

In fact, according to our Digital 2021 Report, there are now:

  • 2 billion users on WhatsApp
  • 1.3 billion users on Facebook Messenger
  • 1.2 billion users on WeChat/Weixin

The social messaging phenomenon has completely transformed the way people interact with brands—and ever since the pandemic pushed people toward digital channels for all their social and business interactions, the messaging trend has only accelerated.

More than 60% of all customer service engagements will be delivered via digital and self-serve channels (like social messaging, chat apps, and live chat) by 2023, according to Gartner.

Many brands have embraced social messaging and integrated it into social media and customer care strategies to meet a host of customer engagement and service needs; others are just starting their journey.

If your brand is the latter group, there are five main benefits of social messaging that will help encourage you and your internal stakeholders to take the leap.

Bonus: Download our free WhatsApp for Customer Care guide to get more pointers on how to use WhatsApp Business to get higher conversion rates, better customer experience, lower costs, and higher customer satisfaction.

1. See the world through your customer’s eyes

More than two-thirds of companies now compete primarily based on customer experience—up from 36% in 2010—according to Gartner.

One easy way to create great customer experiences is to connect with customers on the platforms they’re already familiar with: Social media, social messaging apps, and other digital channels. No one has time for phone calls, automated greetings, and dreaded hold music in the 2020s.

Convenient and conversational, social messaging facilitates a direct, personal engagement between you and your customers. Customers can engage with your brand and seek customer service to resolve problems in their own time, on a familiar channel.

Messaging puts customers back in control, where they should be.

Leading insurance company AXA learned first-hand the power of taking a customer-first approach. Based on feedback from its customers, AXA integrated WhatsApp into its customer service engagement strategy to deliver faster, more personalized service.

They now offer customers the option of communicating via WhatsApp if they’re involved in a car accident or need roadside assistance. Using WhatsApp for customer service has boosted their customer satisfaction score to 4.5 out of 5.

“Sparkcentral by Hootsuite is the perfect solution for our messaging-first strategy. In only four weeks we were up and running with the platform!” – Jef Van In, CEO of AXA Belgium

2. Create ‘wow’ moments that boost customer loyalty and retention

Is your brand always seeking new ways to gain customer loyalty and retain customers? Catching the attention of customers long enough to make an impression can be a challenge in itself.

Instead of grand gestures, your brand could create small “wow” moments that have a big impact. Delivering personal service on the channel of their choice is one of the most effective ways to surprise customers and turn them into fans for life.

Nearly 80% of consumers say speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience, according to PWC.

With Sparkcentral by Hootsuite, you can easily customize proactive messaging, automation flows, and bots to create memorable customer experiences that build lasting, meaningful connections.

Proactive messaging was the key to success for European eyewear brand Odette Lunettes.

They shared status and delivery updates with customers through WhatsApp, using an automated messaging flow to send customers the answers they wanted most—without them even having to ask. This seamless customer experience resulted in a major decline in support tickets throughout their ordering process.

3. Get personal, even at scale

One of the best opportunities that social media provides is to reach precise audiences with personalized messaging. Likewise, social messaging enables brands to integrate customer data into their messaging platform to get personal with customers—even at scale.

Integrate your social media and messaging data with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform using Sparkcentral by Hootsuite to ensure a seamless experience for your customers and your customer-facing employees.

To deliver personalization at scale, you can customize messaging bots and introduce some automation to your customer engagement and customer service workflows to handle repetitive questions.


screenshot showing an auto-responder bot in chat

Setting up bots to auto-respond to people guarantees they get a quick reply. And smooth handovers from bots to human agents ensures people still get the benefits of a personal touch—all wrapped up in a seamless experience.

4. Unlock insights to inform sales, marketing, customer service, and product strategies

When you understand your audiences, you can build more effective social marketing strategies, provide enhanced customer care, engage better with your customers, and build better products.

Data from social media and social messaging can help you understand how people feel about your brand. It goes beyond metrics to capture the “online mood” of your audience.

Understanding how people feel about your brand helps you keep your marketing and product development efforts on track.

It also allows you to respond right away to positive or negative posts and messages. Instant responses are key to maintaining brand reputation and mitigating the effects of a crisis.

5. Set teams up for success

Social media and customer care are the front lines of your business. It’s where you build loyalty, manage crises, or simply try to make sure every customer need is met on time.

Making social messaging part of your social media and customer care strategies lets you ensure your teams have the right tools to succeed in their roles.

Messaging apps support rich media content like interactive voice, video, and images. This allows you to connect with customers in more meaningful ways and gain valuable data to improve customer service key performance indicators (KPIs) like first contact resolution (FCR), average handle time (AHT), and customer satisfaction (CSAT).

screenshot showing customer care metrics in Sparkcentral

Integrating data across all customer channels also creates a better customer experience and a smoother workflow for teams as it cuts out repetition and provides teams with the information they need to address customers efficiently.

Make customer care effortless and customer experiences seamless

As customers adopt new behaviors, the popularity of social messaging apps opens the door for streamlined, conversational experiences. It creates opportunities for brands to proactively address issues on social media and solve common customer care frustrations.

Since 70% of people expect to message businesses more in the future for customer service questions, isn’t it time your brand started incorporating messaging into its social media and customer service strategies?

With Sparkcentral by Hootsuite, brands can manage incoming social media customer support queries through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, WeChat/Weixin, and WhatsApp more easily.

Sparkcentral can even be used to manage messages received via your own digital channels like your website or app.

You can manage all these conversations through automated message distribution. Sparkcentral uses AI-powered chatbots to address simple support queries. Live agents can step in when needed. The platform easily integrates with your existing CRM systems.

Deliver exceptional customer experience in no time with Sparkcentral by Hootsuite. Set-up is incredibly quick and its easy-to-use agent desktop makes it the perfect solution for every customer-facing team.

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By Lise Eerdekens

Lise is a Content Marketer at Hootsuite, based in Belgium. When she's not thinking about social media, you'll find her at brunch, taking photos, or having small talk with her cat.

Read more by Lise Eerdekens

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